Liven up your summer with quirky popsicles in nostalgic flavours ranging from strawberry to aam panna, including ones with alcohol. Slurp away!
The excitement around restaurants championing seasonal produce can wear off once you scratch the surface and see that most of it is puffery, and very little is conscientious cooking. But one can understand the reason behind this inexorable trend. You see, seasons and memories associated with food are intertwined. And that may be why summer has us pining for mangoes, while monsoon leaves us with pakoda cravings. Now, city bartenders are toying with popsicles, giving them zany twists adding liquor and experimenting with flavours that catapult us to lazy summer vacations spent in sprawling verandahs. Tippler or just a toasted Mumbaikar toiling under the scorching sun, there is something for everyone.
Going gola over it
It is difficult to explain briefly the joy of sucking on a juicy kala khatta gola by the beach and with abandon. So, it is even more exciting to find out there are variants with alcohol in them. Speaking about the Chowpatty chooski (R320), Vinayak Desai, bartender at a Chembur restaurant, tells us, "The cocktail fits perfectly with our restaurant's concept as we are trying to amalgamate the old and new cuisines of Bombay. The flavours are basic, so we have crushed ice, lime, gola masala, and kala katha syrup, but we add vodka to it for a twist."
At Via Bombay, Jewel of Chembur, 1st Road, Chembur East.
Time 12 pm to 3 pm; 7 pm to 11.30 pm
Let's go for a rum
Combining India's favourite rum — ostensibly the gateway to every teenager's adulthood — with espresso, condensed milk and a dash of sweetness, the rum cafe gola (R595) is a fun treat. "The richness and sweetness of the condensed milk and espresso coffee balances the cocktail, giving it a perfect consistency, so it can be enjoyed for a longer duration, by sucking, instead of sipping," explains restaurant manager Rahul Nanavare, who helps in curating the menu. "It's an ode to childhood memories, college sessions, as well as our adult lives. Like a guilty pleasure that takes us back to the good old days," he adds.
At Woodside Inn (Colaba and Andheri).
Time 12 pm to 1 am
Call 26328963 (Andheri)
Musing about mangoes
At a quaint café in Vile Parle, the mango popsicle (R80) presents itself as a simple chilled treat that harks back to after-school hours huddled around the local ice creamwallah's cart, waiting for our lollies. "Summers and mango go hand-in-hand. We wanted to highlight the king of fruits to bring back fond memories and to provide our patrons with a quick, refreshing and healthy dessert," says Parvinder Singh, owner of the café.
At Garde Manger, Parmar Housing Society, Vile Parle East.
Time 10 am to 11 pm
At this popular bar chain, a long-time favourite cocktail gets an upgrade with a fruity lolly. The famous social margarita (R495) comprises strawberries, lime, tequila and a strawberry popsicle. "Ice lollies were a summer vacation staple when we were kids, so what's the best way to consume it as a grown up?" asks Nilesh Patel, beverage head at Social. "Alcohol!" he says, "It adds a fun element to the drink, making it popular among patrons."
At Social (all outlets).
Time 9 am to 1 am
Aam admi party
"When you think of summer in Mumbai, the two things that pop-up are golas and aam panna," shares Deepen Kanwar, manager at a Colaba eatery. Here, a kachcha pakka aam ka gola (R345) is made with freshly prepared raw and ripe mango puree, crushed ice and vodka. "What makes this gola special are the mango chunks combined with the crushed ice," Kanwar says, adding, "The sweet-sour flavours of the aam panna combined with vodka work as an irresistible combo in this sweltering weather."
At Bombay Vintage, Opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba.
Time 12 pm to 12 am
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